The Division Series haven't even begun yet, but the Red Sox are already a week into their offseason.
If there's one benefit to not qualifying for the playoffs, it's that teams that miss out get a head start on getting to work for next year. And, obviously, there's a lot of work required for the Red Sox to become competitive again.
Here's a look atchief baseball officer Chaim Bloom's to-do list:
1. Hire a manager.
It could be argued that no task Bloom has faced to date is more important than this one. Even when he was forced, unexpectedly, into finding a replacement for Alex Cora last January, that had the feel of an interim move. When Bloom made the decision to stay within the organization and promote Ron Roenicke from bench coach, it seemed logical, safe....and somewhat temporary. That remained true when the interim tag was removed, and became even more so with the shortened season.
But this time, it's for real.
Bloom's hire this time is presumably for the long haul. Whomever he selects will be tasked with managing the Red Sox for the next three, four or five years, steering them through the potential detours that come with leading a team from last back to first.
The new manager will need to be someone Bloom is comfortable with -- personally and philosophically. They must be on the same page together when it comes to approach and timetable. Executives don't get too many opportunities to hire coaches or managers; if, after a couple of tries, the performance of a team isn't showing progress, then it's the executive who finds himself in the crosshairs. So, Bloom needs to get this one right.